Thursday, December 27, 2012

I'm Pretty Sure Boehner Won't Get Replaced by an Outsider

I like this post from Adele Stan on Alternet about as much as I like anything that highlights the disarray into which the House Republicans appear to have fallen, but the bit that jumps out at me is the titillating concept considered by conservative thinker, Norman J. Ornstein, that the replacement for John Boehner needn't necessarily come from the House itself.

Now, to give some background--there was an interesting footnote that occurred right after the elections, when TX Rep. Louie Gohmert suggested Newt Gingrich be the Speaker of the House, again.  Because there's no reason why we shouldn't party like it's some time prior to 1999, I guess.  He wasn't entirely off base though, in that there really is no Constitutional reason why the Speaker of the House has to be a member of the House. The problem, though, is in getting enough members of the House to go along with you as to which outsider you want to fulfill that office.

I think getting House Republicans to move together on someone like Jon Huntsman or Mitch Daniels would be a pretty hard sell, no? Wouldn't that be like, first they have to admit there is a problem? And then they would move on to acknowledging there's an answer outside themselves? I don't see them taking those steps. The folks who have the knives out for Boehner would, in actuality, probably be the least likely people to say, "Hey, let's get a somewhat reality-based deal-maker up in here to whip our asses into a deal we don't like!"  They would be more likely to want Eric Cantor or someone who they feel listens to the "true conservative" side of things.

This is why, if there was a kind of coup (hopefully a non-armed coup--unlike the Freedomworks situation recently described), I would guess the lucky candidate would be a Tea Party kind of GOP-er. Except I don't think all the GOP would get behind that. And no Dem would. Which leaves us with Boehner--the default-mode.

The simpler problem is math. The fault in GOP leadership has nothing to do with Boehner's character or flaws or anything else about him--it's the numbers. No matter who is in charge, that person would still be dealing with the Louie Gohmerts, Paul Brouns, and Michele Bachmann's that make John Boehner's job the thankless thing it is.

I could be proven wrong. But if the GOP majority chose anyone but Boehner, it wouldn't be an outsider, and certainly not anyone you could, however laughably, call a moderate (a RINO), or even reasonable (an appeaser).  And it would probably make zero difference in how any vote turned out going forward (probably still disappointing and clusterfuck-ish).  The debt ceiling and the fiscal cliff have, in a late echo of the Mayan pseudo-prophecy, coincided. A pretty serious tone for the next two years of wrangling is about to be set. If the GOP is about to do whatever they will with a weak Speaker--the die is already basically cast.

And FWIW, can anyone see a knight in shining armor seriously riding in on his white horse and piercing the RW "bubble" with his trusty lance? It strikes me as fairy-tale stuff.

(X-posted at Rumproast.)

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